Anika Sands And Kami Terry Of Splashes Lashes: Five Things I Learned As A Twenty-Something Founder
Learning to adapt and continue to push yourself to learn is extremely important to continue expanding your business.
As a part of our series called “My Life as a Twentysomething Founder”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Anika Sands and Kami Terry.
Anika Sands and Kami Terry have been best friends since they met in first grade. They went to different colleges but reunited after graduation and moved in together in the midst of the pandemic. While living together with ample free time, they decided they wanted to start a makeup business together since they had seen small businesses going viral on TikTok and both had social media and relative business experience.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! What is your “backstory”?
We met when we were 5 years old in elementary school. We grew up together and went to separate universities (University of Washington and University of Arizona). After graduating college, we were left in the midst of a pandemic and not sure what our next steps were in our careers. One day we were playing around with makeup looks based on the hit show Euphoria, and had the idea to add glitter to our fake lashes for some extra bling. We then thought about other styles like butterflies, stars, hearts, etc. and decided to each invest a small amount to buy some materials and put our ideas to the test. Kami’s love of makeup and Anika’s background in social media has ultimately led to the idea of selling this as our own product, decal lashes.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company? What lessons or takeaways idd you take out of that story?
We received our first wholesale order ever after about 3 months of being in business. The only experience we had with wholesale orders was from the buying side, so we had to learn along the way. The two of us completed the entire order ourselves in our first office, which happened to be the attic of our home at the time. To this day our first wholesale order was the largest order we’ve had to date, and we only had 3 weeks to hand-make, package, and ship out the order. Looking back on it now and seeing how our business has grown since then, the situation was scary while we were dealing with it and made us uncomfortable, but in the end it helped us to realize that if we want to be successful, we need to step out of our comfort zone every once in a while.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Fake lashes have been around for decades, but we realized that most fake lashes are all relatively similar. We wanted our lashes to stand out in the crowd, which is why we decided to put our own twist on the traditional fake lash with our decal lashes. Our lashes have become very popular as glitter and rhinestone makeup has come back in full force since the premiere of Euphoria in 2019. Decal lashes help explore your creativity and discover new ways to express yourself through makeup.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
We wouldn’t be able to be where we are now without the support of our amazing friends and family who have supported us from the beginning. If we had to choose one person who changed the trajectory of our company, that would be Mikayla Nogueira, a beauty influencer who at the time had around 5 million followers and now has a following of over 10 million people on TikTok. She was kind enough to do a review of our lashes on her TikTok and her review generated over 22 million views all around the world and changed our lives forever. We had no idea what was about to happen and how we were ever going to fulfill all of the orders from our new customers. After a month of being sold out and working nonstop to create, pack, and ship all of our orders, we had finally caught up and were able to restock our website, although things were never the same for our business. We worked for the next couple months to open our own fulfillment warehouse so that we could handle the amount of orders we were receiving daily. It has now been over six months since that video was posted and the amount our business has grown simply because of that minute long review has blown us away and we could not be more grateful.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
We are very excited to keep expanding our company and are continuously creating new styles of lashes for every occasion. We are working on lashes for all of the upcoming holidays. Some fun new styles include a “Pride Lash” for Pride Month in June, a graduation lash for the class of 2022, and birthday lashes. We are also expanding our line into magnetic and other fun colorful lashes, and matching accessories.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Whether it’s a birthday, concert, wedding or sporting event. We have lashes that work with any occasion and help people celebrate important and unforgettable life moments. One of the most special things about starting our business so far, has been the excitement of people receiving their orders, and how much they genuinely love our product. It makes our hard work rewarding, and reminds us why we’re doing it.
Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?
A book that resonates with our business values is, The Smarter Screen, “Surprising Ways to Influence and Improve Online Behavior” by Shlomo Benartzi. This book examines how consumers make decisions online while trying to navigate through massive amounts of content that they see daily. Similar to advertising decisions made in person, online behavior has its own set of rules. If you want to stand out in this digital age, it is important to create attention grabbing content that the consumer wants to spend their time viewing. We see this daily in our TikTok content creation, you have to understand what your audience likes and what they want to see from you.
Can you share 5 of the most difficult and most rewarding parts of being a “TwentySomething founder”. Please share an example or story for each.
The five most difficult parts of being a “TwentySomething Founder” are being your own boss and setting goals for yourself, navigating all elements of business, making the best decision for you and your business, learning to say no to things you cannot commit to, and separating your work life from your personal life.
The most rewarding parts of being a “TwentySomethingFounder” are seeing your hard work and creativity pay off, contributing to the makeup community and their positive response, receiving feedback from customers that love the products as much as we do, fulfilling our dreams of starting a business together and being our own bosses, and getting to meet our customers and see them wearing our lashes.
What are the main takeaways that you would advise a twenty year old who is looking to found a business?
Since most of us were young, we’ve always been told what to do our entire lives, and to listen to those who are older than us. Something we didn’t realize is that when you are your own boss, you have to do this yourself and you have to be your own motivator. It can be hard to set daily, monthly, and quarterly goals and stick to them. Being self employed requires you to constantly be problem solving, improvising, and being creative. Not everyday or month is going to be the same in regards to what your job requires. Learning to adapt and continue to push yourself to learn is extremely important to continue expanding your business.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
One of our biggest inspirations business wise has to be Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank. We absolutely love her inspirational story and watching her keep up with trends on TikTok. We hope to work with her someday, she could definitely take Splashes to the next level!
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
The best ways your followers can follow us on social media is our Instagram, @splashes.insta or check out our daily content on TikTok @itssplashes.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!